homepage logo

News Briefs

By Staff | Feb 28, 2020


Johnson named to Presidential Scholars nominee list

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler congratulated 64 North Dakota high school seniors who have been nominated for United States Presidential Scholar honors.

The scholars were chosen from 20 public and four nonpublic high schools. Bismarck Century has the most nominees, with 13, while Grand Forks Central had 10. Fargo’s Davies and North high schools have six nominees each.

The U.S. Department of Education’s announcement of the 65 nominees is the beginning of the process of selecting one young man and one young woman as North Dakota’s two Presidential Scholars. Those choices will be announced in early May.

Being named as a Presidential Scholar is one of the most prestigious awards a high school senior can receive, Baesler said. “Even being nominated for consideration as a Presidential Scholar is considered a high honor,” the superintendent said. “It signifies that the student has an outstanding academic history and a record of accomplishment.”


The Department of Education invites students to apply to become Presidential Scholars based on their scores on the SAT or ACT college entrance exams. Baesler and designated education organizations, including the Department of Career and Technical Education, also may nominate candidates.

Nominees are asked to complete a nine-page application that inquires about jobs they have held, special talents they have, and community activities in which they have been involved. It asks nominees to write short essays describing family characteristics, creative work, significant community contributions, and how they have responded to a challenge or mistake.

The two North Dakota young people who are chosen as Presidential Scholars will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in June, where they will be presented with a special medallion and have opportunities to meet national and international notables in education, music, science, and other disciplines.

Melody C. Johnson, a Rugby High School student, was named to the list from the Rugby area.

Christenson named HAMC CEO

The Heart of America Medical Center has announced the appointment of Erik Christenson as chief executive officer.

After conducting an extensive search for a new CEO to replace interim CEO Jerry Jurena, the GSHA Board of Directors has hired Christenson to head the organization.

GSHA Board of Directors Chairman Will Griffin said they are looking forward to working with Christenson and tackling the issues ahead of them to better the facility.

“I am extremely excited to begin serving the Heart of America Medical Center and community as the CEO. I genuinely believe we can create, through team effort and commitment, a health system that will be there for the community for generations. I would like to thank the staff, community and board of directors for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this effort,” said Christenson.

Christenson enjoys farming, which he still does on the family farm near Harvey. He and his wife, Sarah, reside in Rugby and have two adult daughters and one son.

The Journey to meet March18

The next meeting of The Journey, a local cancer support group, will be held Wednesday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Heart of America Medical Center’s Fox Auditorium.

The guest speaker will be Laurie Odden, community relationship manager, American Cancer Society.

The group will also celebrate its fourth anniversary.

– Tribune Staff Report

Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page